Cardiff University

Thermodynamics Teaching App Development

The Challenge

To enable lecturers in Cardiff University’s Biomechanical Department bring their teaching materials in line with current technology. Covering the subject matter of Thermodynamics and Fluid dynamics the task was to form a cohesive and branded scheme of work to support lecture delivery.

What We Did

Following consultation with university staff, including course lecturers, it became evident that not only should the solution help facilitate the delivery of course content, but should be harnessed to bring lessons alive through interactive technology. It should also provide for standardised delivery and promotion of the Cardiff University brand.

With this in mind, Gaia evaluated potential solutions and came up with the idea of delivering lectures through app content. This would enable the lecture notes to be dynamic and interactive as well as giving students the ability to download the same notes to their own devices. The apps would be streamed from mobile devices to lecture hall AV systems, allowing the lecture to be run from a tablet.

The next stage saw members of the Gaia team sit in on a full lecture to experience the process from both sides of the content. This highlighted the need for certain elements of the content to be dynamic and allow data to be entered when necessary to help articulate a point. This extended to cover all models and graphs within the content and, in order to facilitate teaching, these elements all needed to be interactive and flexible enough to expand on the concepts portrayed.

The Outcome

In early 2017 the app was rolled out covering a full term’s worth of lecture content, with launch via the app store for free download by students set for mid-February. Having been reviewed and passed by teaching staff, student reviews will be collated as they use the app throughout the course of the term and the findings taken on board for future stages. Teaching staff are so satisfied that they are in the process of gathering funding resources to commission 2 further apps to cover the remainder of the teaching year.

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